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ERIC Number: EJ1119594
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1360-1431
Designing Technology: An Exploration of the Relationship between Technological Literacy and Design Capability
Hope, Gill
Design and Technology Education, v18 n2 p24-31 2013
The aim of this article is to contribute to the debate on the nature of technology education. This is especially pertinent at times of curriculum change and uncertainty, such as currently exist in relation to the Primary school curriculum in England and Wales. Two phrases ("technological literacy" and "design capability") have been used by previous theorists and curriculum writers to encapsulate core understandings of what our subject is about. Are these helpful in the present context? Or do we need to move into a new way of seeing, more fitted, perhaps, to the world order of the 21st century? The following issues are converted into "core questions" within this article: (1) The words "literacy" and "being literate" are usually interpreted as the ability to read and write. Widening the application of these terms to other fields (such as technology) implies understanding and communication of abstract but culturally determined symbolism (analogous to interpreting graphemes, phonemes and so on). If the term "literacy" is applied to the processes of "doing technology"; what is being "read" and what is being communicated?; (2) The distinction between "technicity" and "technology." "Technicity" is taken to mean the ability to carry out a range of actions that result in a product whereas "technology" implies a higher level of functioning, including an understanding of systems, with implications for learning technology and for developing design capability; and (3) What balance should exist between teaching "about technology" (which might be analogous to "reading") or "through" designing technology (which might be analogous to "writing") as a personal or creative endeavour? Examples within the text are taken from the Primary phase of education, although application to Secondary and Tertiary phases may be extrapolated.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A